Graffitti is probably the most misunderstood art form today, frequently being labeled as vandalism, gangsterism and even Satanism. Many don’t know that Graffiti or Spray-can art is an integral part of Hip-Hop culture. Sadly, due to the stigma attached to the art, it’s often overshadowed by other aspects of the movement namely; Rap, Breakdance and Turntablism. Unlike the latter element’s popularity and global commercial success, Graffiti is yet to gain mainstream acceptance.
Despite the numerous magazines and books out which focus on this subculture, movies seem to be the most informative source. Whole Train is the newest flick out exploring this urban phenomenon. Inspired by films like Wild Style, German director Florian Gaag gives you a peek into lifestyle of the inconspicuous aerosol artist. This fast-paced drama revolves around a four piece writer crew, David, Tino, Achim and Elyas are all from different backgrounds and exhibit different personalities but have one thing in common: a passion for graffiti. In their quest for respect and fame we see them constantly ducking the law, battle the opposing crew and struggle to maintain a balance between everyday life and their compulsion for writing.
Officially released in 2006, Whole Train has graced the screens of film fests worldwide from Canada to South-Africa and has won numerous awards which include the Boston International Film Festival – Best Narrative Feature Film and Sarajevo International Film Festival – Best Youth Film. The film also received critical acclaim from hip-hop veteran Krs-One.
Whole Train boasts an equally excellent sound track produced by Florian Gaag. The CD features underground hip-hop heavyweights like, Planet Asia, Afu- Ra, Krs-One, Bumpy Knuckles and EL Da Sensei spitting subject matter that’s predominantly about putting your name up on walls & trains as illustrated in songs like My Name, Slow Burna and Stayin up.
Review by Kold Stone